Friday, November 13, 2009


Vicad today had a short piece on a guilty verdict against an HPL gangster. [HPL is Hermandad de Pistoleros Latinos, not Hermanos Pistoleros Latinos, as given in the story.] It was a noteworthy conviction, and the paper gave the trial not a line of coverage. We had HPL trials maybe five or six years ago, following the shooting death of a little kid in a trailer south of downtown. His daddy was purportedly a Raza Unida member, and a bunch of HPL guys shot the hell out of the trailer and accidentally got the little boy. Then-DA Dexter Eaves tried them on a state RICO approach, so anyone taking part in the operation at any point was considered as culpable in the whole. I think it was a generally effective prosecution. I don't know why this trial got no coverage. Paper had two of us on the earlier trials, one morning and one afternoon, and then we collaborated on the writing. People snapped up the papers. It was a good story, and it's a pity this trial didn't get coverage beyond the verdict. In a bumbling way the Victoria gangs do a lot of harm, and readers are interested to know about this kind of law enforcement.


Pilot said...

I have alluded to it elsewhere, but I will spell it out here. There are two possible answers. One is that the demographic group the paper seems to be courting of late both in public with their saga style ongoing stories, and recent business dealings I have heard rumors of, might just get their shorts in a wad over such a damning story, either in English or en espanol. The other reason could just simply be inept reporting practices, and their new found technique of gathering news, which is to station roving reporters at various coffee shops, and put out begging reader solicitations for "news stories" and just being content to let it come to them.
Come to think of it, I suppose, it could actually be a little bit of both. I can recall how I used to enjoy hearing in advance, what you would be covering, and envied you sitting in the courtroom taking notes, then looked forward to reading the next day, of the outcome of or ongoing testimony or deliberations in the proceedings. Damn shame that these days Banner ads and silly little colored bullets about tech bytes, and the young and the lustful are splashed all over the front page, rather than opening it and seeing some hard news, and a National or State headline story of some significance.

Sugar Magnolia said...

Not only are readers interested in this kind of story, particularly from the law enforcement angle, they DESERVE to know of the excellent work our law enforcement is doing. When Chief Ure stated "This is one of the more complicated investigations this department has ever done", that is, I am quite sure, an understatement. These guys work day and night risking their lives to get scum like this off the street, and rather than covering the trial, the VicAd is too busy planning their front page, each seemingly more garish and embarrassing than the last.

Pilot, I would go with both also. What you term as "inept reporting practices", though, would probably constitute the bulk of the silliness that is splashed across the pages of the VicAd. Do you remember one Lourdes Vasquez approaching us at the "credibility" meeting concerning our thoughts on the VicAd? And, of course, we as a group conveyed our opinion, concisely and politely, to her. I in particular remember saying I truly believed the residents of the Crossroads area deserved a better paper, and I hoped that would be forthcoming. So did you see any of our thoughts, quotes, questions, and/or ideas in the writeup or video? Of course not.

My score:
Victoria county law enforcement: 1
Hermanos Pistoleros Latinos: 0
Victoria Advocate: 0

Edith Ann said...

Guys, guys--*technically* they covered this unfolding story.

This dude with those ugly tats was the guy getting the FedEx package full of drugs, and then he was in the truck with the trashcan full of weed. Part I and II.

Leslie finally got around to part III.

Why they didn't slap a fancy title on it like "The Fatal Felony Funnel" is beyond me.

I think there was no story initially because they are scared his buddies might not be happy with the story as reported and decide to want to discuss it.

They proved they are scared of their own shadows when Gabe Semenza did not sit in jail rather than reveal his sources. Wuss.

Big thumbs up to VPD and VCSO--combined SWAT effort.